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Old 02-14-2016, 12:53 PM   #1
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Large SUV Options for Towing

Hello Everyone,

So I followed a lot of advice from friends and internet searches, to include this site and this what I have done thus far:
  1. Made sure to buy my second camper first.
  2. Buy camper first and then get the right vehicle.
  3. Researched towing vehicles & respective towing guides cover to cover.
  4. Read the camper owner guide cover to cover.
Now I am trying to figure out the right tow vehicle. I feel a Large SUV can meet our needs. I need some advice before I commit to a vehicle. I have some experience towing trailers with larger equipment on them but never a camper.

Large SUV Ratings Avg (Examples: QX80, Armada, Navigator, Tahoe, Yukon)

Curb Weight = 5600
Payload Capacity = 1700
GVWR = 7300
Towing Capacity = 8500
Class IV Weight Dist. Hitch & Sway Control = 10k Rate & Tongue 1k

2 Adults & 2 Children + Luggage = 500

2015 Salem 26tbud

Dry Weight = 6068
Cargo Weight = 1709
*Tongue Weight = ? (Need to be 10 to 15% of GVWR of Trailer?)
Estimate Cargo/Camper Equipment = 500

Questions:
Can you provide good or bad experience by towing with Large SUVs?

How does a Weight Distribution Hitch affect Tongue Weight? I read a few things but still confused. I need this number to make sure Payload capacity isn't exceeded.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:18 PM   #2
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your on the right track. Payload is always the limiting factor in an SUV. I think you better up your 500 lb truck load though. Kids will only get bigger. Friends come along. You will pack more stuff than you think. 800 lbs would be more realistic. I towed with a Yukon when we got our first camper, about same size as you are looking at. It did ok, as long as hills were kept to a minimum. It was a 02 Yukon, so I'm sure the newer are a bit more capable. Make sure it's properly equipped for towing. Trans cooler a MUST
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:05 PM   #3
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I would take the armada out of the equation for that tt. I towed a 30' tt with a dry weight of 5700 lbs, loaded weight per scales of 7300 lbs with an 04 armada. It handled very poorly. I was pushed all over the road and pushed down a 7% grade. I struggled up the 7% grade dropping all the way to 15 mph in first gear by the time I reached the top. The armada has a very short wheel base making it a poor match for a longer tt. The payload on the armada is very light as well limiting what you can tow.

For the tt you are looking at and the likely family to go with that floor plan, I would look at a 2500 suburban.
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Old 02-14-2016, 02:42 PM   #4
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I have an 04 Suburban 2500 with the 8.1 liter in it. We had a 30' Newmar TT that weighed 6280 empty. Initially, we towed with a 1/2 ton silverado - It struggled. With the Suburban, the only way we could tell we were towing is the mileage went down. It would pull at 70 all day long. Up hills, whatever. We used an equalizer and sway control of course. The Suburban had plenty of mass of its own to handle the trailer along with wonderfully powerful brakes. Too bad they don't make them (2500/big block) anymore. There are used ones to be found, although they are somewhat hard to find.
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Old 02-14-2016, 04:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capav8r View Post
I have an 04 Suburban 2500 with the 8.1 liter in it. We had a 30' Newmar TT that weighed 6280 empty. Initially, we towed with a 1/2 ton silverado - It struggled. With the Suburban, the only way we could tell we were towing is the mileage went down. It would pull at 70 all day long. Up hills, whatever. We used an equalizer and sway control of course. The Suburban had plenty of mass of its own to handle the trailer along with wonderfully powerful brakes. Too bad they don't make them (2500/big block) anymore. There are used ones to be found, although they are somewhat hard to find.
Please slow down. Trailer tires are only rated to 65mph.
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Old 02-14-2016, 04:57 PM   #6
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Silly question- do you NEED a large SUV when not towing? You would be limiting yourself to 2500 surburban/Yukon. Or a 1/2 truck would meet all your needs.


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Old 02-14-2016, 05:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asquared View Post
I would take the armada out of the equation for that tt. I towed a 30' tt with a dry weight of 5700 lbs, loaded weight per scales of 7300 lbs with an 04 armada. It handled very poorly. I was pushed all over the road and pushed down a 7% grade. I struggled up the 7% grade dropping all the way to 15 mph in first gear by the time I reached the top. The armada has a very short wheel base making it a poor match for a longer tt. The payload on the armada is very light as well limiting what you can tow.

For the tt you are looking at and the likely family to go with that floor plan, I would look at a 2500 suburban.
AS info no new for now 2500 suburban. Later RJD
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:35 PM   #8
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We used 1/2 ton suburbans for years. Never had a problem with our 30 foot SOB old trailer or the Rockwood ultra lite 31footer with a slide. We didn't make any really long trips but the ride in the Sub was great!


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Old 02-14-2016, 07:35 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the input... To answer a few questions. We definitely want a SUV. Mainly the wife loves the convenience and the room.

Can anyone provide feedback on this from the original post?

"How does a Weight Distribution Hitch affect Tongue Weight? I read a few things but still confused. I need this number to make sure Payload capacity isn't exceeded."
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by adr4 View Post
Can anyone provide feedback on this from the original post?

"How does a Weight Distribution Hitch affect Tongue Weight? I read a few things but still confused. I need this number to make sure Payload capacity isn't exceeded."
Click Here for a good WDH tutorial from etrailer.com. They have some very good towing primers on their website...
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